Need advise new job - sketchy - Can a circulating tech be a medical assistant?

  1. A little HX about me... I worked in an operating room in a major hospital as a nursing assistant while attending LPN school. When I became a LPN in 2013, my manager at the hospital told me that I could no longer be a scrub nurse in the operating room. Hospitals here in NYC were mandated to send scrub techs to get their certifications in order to work in the operating room. Unfortunately, I had to leave because as an LPN I could only do a nursing assistant job in the OR. As an LPN, I got hired at an ambulatory surgery center working in the pre-op and recovery room and still there now as an RN.

    My concern now is: I ventured out to see what's out there and I got called from a plastic surgery center. I will be doing pre-op and post-op care. The general manager in the interview told me that the circulator in the OR is a medical assistant. I never heard of such thing. I've been working surgery for over 5 years now and I have always seen an RN as a circulator, a surgical tech assisting the surgeon, a CRNA or anesthesiologist, and a surgeon or attending assisting in the surgery.

    Then he said "the CRNA are contracted so as soon as the surgeries are done they are walking out the door, so you, and the surgeon are in charge of that patient." At my current job we have an in-house anesthesiologist group so if we have any concern we bring it up to them right away and they come and assess the patient.

    I am a new RN. I want to make sure that this new facility is complaint and they are not doing anything sketchy. I cannot jeopardize the license that I worked so hard for. What do you think?
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Check the laws for your state- there are several that mandate an RN circulator. Additionally, CMS regulations require the immediate availability of an RN for patients undergoing surgery.
  4. by   LoriannL
    In twenty yrs as an OR.RN, I have never heard of it. I would steer clear.i wouldn't want to jeopardize my own license because some surgeon doesn't want to pay a RN to circulate. Trust your gut...
    Last edit by LoriannL on Nov 26 : Reason: spelling error
  5. by   Argo
    This is likely a cash pay plastic surgery center. They are not held to the same requirements as other 'real' surgery centers or hospital settings. It is normal for them to operate this way.

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